28 March, 2011


Title: Ascension
Author: Steven Galloway
Genre: Fiction
Audience: Adult
Format: Book - Library

Synopsis: Ascension follows the story of wire walker, Salvo Ursari. From the beginnings of his life as a Rom in Hungary to the height of his fame as a wire walker, it follows him through Budapest, Translyvania, Berlin and into America. Covering the 1930's in an increasingly dangerous Europe, to the 1970's when circus' began to die out, Ascension is a beautifully told story of one man's obsession and the effect on his life and family.

What I thought: I grabbed this book off the shelf at the library one day while reshelfing. I read Galloway's Cellist of Sarajevo last year and enjoyed it. Ascension was just beautiful to read. Despite the fact you know what is going to happen in the end from the beginning (yep, one of those books where the ending appears in the first chapter!), this book kept me interested the whole way through. Salvo's life is not easy, yet his love of the wire is absolute. For me, the character of Salvo changed the moment he was on the wire. Even on the pages of the book, you knew he was not as alive, as vibrant as he was when he was walking. Likewise, you knew others who walked the wire with him were not effected the same way he was. Galloway breaths life into his characters, making you truly believe they exist. I constantly had to remind myself that this was fiction, not biographical, and as much as I would love to, I will never have the pleasure or the honour of watching Salvo Ursari walk the wire.

Recommended for: who love a book that has characters you truly believe in.

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